#POCUS for distal radius fractures

Here is the next study presented by Dr Tom Jelic at the EDE 3 Journal Club. It was a multicentre study done in a few centres in Canada. Those centres were St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver (Dr Andrew Skinner), Foothills Hospital in Calgary (Dr Mark Bromley), Saint John Regional Hospital in Saint John (Dr Paul Atkinson), the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s (Dr. Andrew Smith), and Health Sciences North in Sudbury. Click on the video below to see and hear Tom’s presentation. Click here for the full text version of the study.


We get a number of physicians kidding us that the EDE 2 instructors like to use POCUS for absolutely anything, implying that we would do so regardless of utility. But what they don’t see is the phase that we go through while sorting out novel uses to see if they actually have any utility. When an indication turns out to not be useful, we stop using it. It was like that for Colles fracture reductions. Many of us went through a phase where we thought “We’re good at reducing these fractures without ultrasound… Why would we need it?”. Then we only used it in selective cases and found it to be really quite useful. And then we started to use it routinely, because you can’t always predict when a reduction has gone well.

We do lots of Colles fracture reductions in Sudbury so, as a group, we’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years. But even at that, POCUS seems to increase the percentage of reductions where the post-reduction x-ray is literally perfect.


60 Second Soapbox: Messman (Vertigo), Dolcourt (Charcoal), Stiell (C-spine Rules)

60 second soapboxAfter a bit of a hiatus we are back with another round of 60-Second Soapbox! Each episode, one lucky individual gets exactly 1 minute to present their rant-of-choice to the world. Any topic is on the table – clinical, academic, economic, or whatever else may interest an EM-centric audience. We carefully remix your audio to add an extra splash of drama and excitement. Even more exciting, participants get to challenge 3 of their peers to stand on a soapbox of their own! 

Dr. Anne Messman
Associate Program Director
Wayne State University/Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit, MI



  1. Cohn B. Can bedside oculomotor (HINTS) testing differentiate central from peripheral causes of vertigo? Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Sep;64(3) PMID: 24530107
  2. Ozono Y, Kitahara T, Fukushima M, Michiba T, Imai R, Tomiyama Y, Nishiike S, Inohara H, Morita H. Differential diagnosis of vertigo and dizziness in the emergency department. Acta Otolaryngol. 2014 Feb;134(2) PMID: 24308666

Dr. Bram Dolcourt
Associate Program Director
Wayne State University/Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit, MI


  • Michael Cole
  • Ryan Kirby (@kirbyERDR)
  • Mohammed Moussa

Dr. Ian Stiell
Distinguished Professor and University Health Research Chair
University of Ottawa



  1. Stiell IG, Wells GA, Vandemheen KL, Clement CM, Lesiuk H, De Maio VJ, Laupacis A, Schull M, McKnight RD, Verbeek R, Brison R, Cass D, Dreyer J, Eisenhauer MA, Greenberg GH, MacPhail I, Morrison L, Reardon M, Worthington J. The Canadian C-spine rule for radiography in alert and stable trauma patients. JAMA. 2001 Oct 17 PMID: 11597285
  2. Stiell IG, Clement CM, Grimshaw J, et al. Implementation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule: A prospective 12 centre cluster randomised trial. BMJ. 2009 PMID: 19875425

Author information

Sam Shaikh, DO

Sam Shaikh, DO

Editor, 60-Second Soapbox series
Assistant Clinical Professor, Rocky Vista University
Clinical Instructor, University of Colorado School of Medicine
2014-15 ALiEM-CORD Social Media and Digital Scholarship Fellow

The post 60 Second Soapbox: Messman (Vertigo), Dolcourt (Charcoal), Stiell (C-spine Rules) appeared first on ALiEM.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSIGHTS: Don’t miss a posterior shoulder dislocation

Author: Chuck Pilcher, MD, FACEP (Editor, Med Mal Insights) // Edited by: Alex Koyfman, MD (@EMHighAK, EM Attending Physician, UTSW / Parkland Memorial Hospital) and Brit Long, MD (@long_brit)

Here’s the second monthly post from Medical Malpractice Insights – Learning from Lawsuits, a free monthly opt-in email newsletter. The goal of MMI-LFL is to improve patient safety, educate physicians and reduce the cost and stress of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Chuck Pilcher MD, FACEP, Editor, Med Mal Insights

Don’t miss a posterior  shoulder dislocation

Critical thinking makes the diagnosis easy

Facts: A 42 yo well-dressed businessman presents to the ED with pain in his left shoulder after slipping and falling on his outstretched arm on a wet sidewalk about 2 hours earlier. He has no prior history Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 9.31.17 PMof shoulder problems. Exam shows very limited and painful ROM with the shoulder held in adduction and internal rotation. There is a normal appearing “deltoid bulge” indicating no anterior dislocation. An impacted humeral head fracture is suspected. An x-ray is read by both the ED physician and the radiologist as normal. The patient is placed in a sling and discharged to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon. Two days later the orthopod finds the patient has a posterior dislocation The patient notifies the ED. The hospital’s Risk Management Department goes into action.

Plaintiff: My pain and limited ROM was way off the scale compared to a minor sprain. Both the ED doc and the radiologist misread my x-rays. You should have suspected a posterior shoulder dislocation and done a CT scan. Your failure to recognize this caused me more pain, time off, and medical expenses. We need to talk.

Defense: You’re right. We’re sorry. We want to make this right.

Result: The orthopedic surgeon was gracious. The ED physician and radiologist both called the patient and apologized. After discussions with the patient (a forgiving and reasonable gentleman), his attorney, and the hospital risk management department, an agreement was reached to forgive all bills, pay his expenses for relocating the shoulder and therapy, compensate him for time loss from work, plus a small amount for pain, suffering, and inconvenience. The total amount was under $100,000, split between the radiologist, the ED physician, and the hospital. The patient recovered nicely.


  • Saying you’re sorry helps, along with having a good relationship with your backup docs and risk management department.
  • Posterior shoulder dislocations are uncommon but commonly missed.
  • FOOSH is the typical mechanism, with seizures second.
  • Pain and limited ROM are impressive – as one can imagine. The patient just hurts too much for nothing to be wrong. This alone should trigger the “critical thought”: “Could this be a posterior dislocation?”
  • The shoulder is usually held in adduction and internal rotation.
  • The humeral head on x-ray may be internally rotated and appear as a “lightbulb on a stick,” but it may also be read as normal.
  • High index of suspicion required. A CT will make the diagnosis, especially if one suspects a humeral head fx and finds none..

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 9.22.53 PM


References/Further Reading:

  1. Lightbulb on a stick image: http://eorif.com/Shoulderarm/Images/Shoulder-dislocationP1.jpg
  2. Posterior Shoulder Dislocation. Life in the Fastlane (blog). Mike Cadogan http://lifeinthefastlane.com/posterior-shoulder-dislocation/ (includes excellent x-ray images)

“There are no mistakes, save one: the failure to learn from a mistake.” – Robert Fripp

The post MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSIGHTS: Don’t miss a posterior shoulder dislocation appeared first on emdocs.